English cricket warned to ‘clear up its act’ on racism or lose public funding following parliamentary report


English cricket has been shaken by the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal

Racism in cricket is “deep-seated” and public cash must be withheld from the game until it may “clear up its act”, a parliamentary committee has mentioned.

In November Azeem Rafiq gave an emotional testimony to the Digital, Tradition, Media and Sport (DCMS) choose committee in regards to the racist abuse he confronted throughout two stints at Yorkshire starting in 2008 and ending in 2018.

In a report printed on Friday, the committee discovered there was “deep-seated” racism inside the sport and gave the instance of the language utilized in correspondence with the committee and makes an attempt to “discredit” Rafiq within the media as proof of a “lengthy and troublesome highway” forward for the game.

It went on to name on the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to develop a set of key indicators and supply quarterly updates to the committee on its progress, or else face a reduce to authorities funding.

Azeem Rafiq gave evidence during a DCMS select committee hearing in November 2021

Azeem Rafiq gave proof throughout a DCMS choose committee listening to in November 2021

The committee mentioned the ECB and Yorkshire can be known as to present proof on their progress early this 12 months.

“We’re watching intently and totally intend to make sure that cricket cleans up its act,” the report learn.

“We advocate that the Authorities ensures that any future public funds for cricket are depending on steady, demonstrable progress in eliminating racism in each the dressing rooms and on the stands.”

  • There may be “deep-seated” racism in English cricket and the game must “clear up its act”
  • The language utilized in correspondence with the committee because it gathered proof and makes an attempt to “discredit” Rafiq within the media are proof of a “lengthy and troublesome highway” forward
  • ECB known as upon to develop a set of key indicators and supply quarterly updates to the committee on its progress, or face a reduce in funding
  • ECB and Yorkshire can be known as to present proof on their progress early in 2022

The ECB printed a game-wide 12-point plan to sort out discrimination on 18 November. Its chief govt Tom Harrison described the racism allegations made by Rafiq and different gamers as an “earthquake” in cricket.

The plan features a evaluate of dressing-room tradition, range coaching for all these concerned within the sport, a governance evaluate, a drive to take away boundaries to taking part in top-level cricket, localised equality, range and inclusion for golf equipment, counties and authorities our bodies and inspecting how stadia may be made extra welcoming to individuals from numerous backgrounds.

MP Julian Knight, chair of the committee, mentioned: “The highly effective proof given to this Committee by Azeem Rafiq satisfied us that his story was typical of an endemic downside throughout the entire of cricket. We commend him for having the braveness to blow the whistle on unacceptable and discriminatory behaviour.

“We now have been shocked by language individuals utilized in correspondence with us after the listening to. That, along with tales run within the media to discredit him, exhibit that eradicating racism from the sport can be a protracted and troublesome highway. Nevertheless, this can be a watershed for cricket on this nation. Those that love and assist the sport are a part of the answer and should play their half.

MP Julian Knight is the chair of the DCMS committee

MP Julian Knight is the chair of the DCMS committee

“Adjustments launched by Lord Patel at Yorkshire County Cricket Membership give room for optimism, however alone can’t eradicate racism within the sport. Public funding for cricket should rely on actual management and progress by the ECB to sort out abhorrent behaviour, not simply within the dressing rooms, but additionally within the stands.

“The Authorities should make future funding conditional on the sport cleansing up its act. We put the ECB on discover that we anticipate common updates delivered to this Committee on progress being made.”

Rafiq: Sensible that DCMS are holding ECB to account

Commenting on the report, Rafiq mentioned: “The DCMS committee has listened and brought wise motion.

“It’s completely sensible that Julian Knight and his colleagues on the committee are going to carry the ECB to account each quarter. This reveals simply how severely politicians are taking a difficulty that too many individuals in cricket ignored for thus lengthy. The committee understands how necessary it’s to wash up the sport.

“The extra listening to proposed, wherein the ECB and Yorkshire Nation Cricket Membership can be required to present proof on their progress, can also be excellent news. They should be given the prospect to do the precise factor and I am inspired by Lord Patel’s work since he was appointed chair at YCCC.

Rafiq played for Yorkshire in two spells between 2008 and 2018

Rafiq performed for Yorkshire in two spells between 2008 and 2018

“I am glad that MPs will monitor any progress, in order that the reforms wanted to make the game inclusive to all kids can occur quickly.”

The committee arrange the inquiry after Yorkshire introduced no disciplinary motion could be taken in opposition to any particular person on the membership regardless of an investigation it commissioned concluding that there was “no query” Rafiq had skilled bullying and racial harassment.

The membership might face additional sanctions from the ECB’s ongoing investigation into the way it dealt with Rafiq’s complaints.

Barry O’Brien, interim chair of the ECB, commented: “We welcome the committee’s suggestions and the main target of Julian Knight and committee members on reaching actual change.

“We additionally embrace the continuing scrutiny of the committee and all those who love the sport of cricket who can be watching intently as we undertake the continual, demonstrable, progress in eradicating racism from the dressing room and from the stands. We’re decided to root out racism – and different types of discrimination – from our sport.”

‘Headingley shouldn’t host till problems with affect resolved’

Knight has additionally mentioned that Yorkshire shouldn’t host worldwide matches at Headingley till points surrounding the affect of the Colin Graves Belief are resolved.

Former county chair Roger Hutton informed the DCMS choose committee in November that he needed to take away chief govt Mark Arthur and director of cricket Martyn Moxon over their response to a report into allegations of racism raised by former participant Azeem Rafiq.

Nevertheless, Hutton mentioned he was not given consent to take action by the Belief, which is owed a big sum of money by the membership and is linked to the household of former Yorkshire chair Colin Graves.

Rafiq accused Yorkshire of institutional racism

Rafiq accused Yorkshire of institutional racism

The ECB eliminated Yorkshire’s proper to host profitable worldwide video games at Headingley over the previous management’s dealing with of the Rafiq disaster, however Lord Patel mentioned this week that it could be a “large monetary disaster” for the county if worldwide matches weren’t restored this summer season. Rafiq informed the Each day Mail he felt the county had achieved sufficient to warrant being given the matches again.

“It offers me actual pause for thought as as to whether or not they’re prepared (to host internationals) but,” Knight informed the PA information company.

“Lord Patel has made nice strides however we have to make certain that there is no such thing as a repetition of a scenario the place those that should be faraway from senior positions on the membership usually are not eliminated due to a highway block via a Belief.

“I might query whether or not Yorkshire ought to get the matches again till that challenge is resolved. I believe that is one thing we’re going to discover with them and the ECB after they are available entrance of us within the coming weeks.

Yorkshire CCC chairman Lord Patel admits it would be catastrophic if Test cricket were not to return to Headingley.

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Yorkshire CCC chairman Lord Patel admits it could be catastrophic if Take a look at cricket have been to not return to Headingley.

Yorkshire CCC chairman Lord Patel admits it could be catastrophic if Take a look at cricket have been to not return to Headingley.

“I might query very intently the place of the Graves Belief inside Yorkshire, or whether or not or not it ought to proceed to have the affect and energy that it does.”

Patel mentioned in response to the report: “We welcome the choose committee’s name for demonstrable motion to rid our sport of racism and discrimination. Azeem Rafiq’s testimony was a watershed second for the game as a complete, and we’re dedicated to making sure that no-one endures the unacceptable expertise that he did at Yorkshire County Cricket Membership.

“Within the final two months Yorkshire County Cricket Membership has made important progress in our efforts to rebuild, and I’m heartened that the committee considers that there’s room for optimism in what we’ve got achieved. We share that optimism and have made some actual enhancements, however we’re solely at the beginning of this lengthy and necessary journey.”



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